Midway is somewhere between becoming and being; between entropy and stasis; between learning and knowing; between alienation and belonging; between isolation and community; between immigration and assimilation; between urban and suburban; and between poetry and blight. Midway is a metaphor and it’s a state of mind. It’s also an airport.
Midway is a project that explores the grey areas of urbanity that exist between neighborhoods that are geographically, ethnically and socio-economically more distinctive. The heart of it is Midway Airport in Chicago, one of the few airports in the United States embedded within a residential area of a city. It is a rock thrown in the middle of a pond of humanity with the economic and cultural ripples extending for miles in every direction.
Though all working class, the Midway community is difficult to define and routinely ignored by everyone going to the airport to fly to places that are far more exotic. Just about every ethnic group in the city lives here against a backdrop of strip malls, fast food, light industry, shipping and transportation. Everyone is midway between poverty and middle class, all striving to be somewhere else, although very few have flown on the jets that make their dishes rattle every seven minutes. There’s nowhere less romantic. The challenge is to weave all these incoherent pieces together in a body of work that could be from anywhere in the United States, because it is emphatically midway, and distinctly nowhere.